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STAGE TWO due 12th March 2018.
The RFAs are a failed model
The RFAs must not be renewed. The RFAs have failed to protect the environment, failed to result in a thriving timber industry and are driving climate change. The RFAs are therefore a failed model for forest management.
This public asset must be managed for the public good. Logging is robbing future generations. The progress report for the RFA review fails to provide any data to support the assertions that logging is conforming to environmentally sustainable forest management. In contrast, there is lots of evidence that forest wildlife is in decline, we know logging reduces carbon stores and water supplies and we know the majority of people support protecting forests.
We can implement alternative models for forest management. We can do better than industrially logging diverse, living ecosystems. The Great Southern Forest plan seeks to protect forests to facilitate carbon sequestration and climate mitigation.
The failure of the RFAs to protect the environment led to the Great Southern Forest proposal at http://www.greatsouthernforest.org.au/media/GSF_Brief.pdf which presents recommendations for alternative forest management.
The Great Southern Forest recommends that, for the State’s 432,575ha of public native forests in the Eden and Southern Regions of NSW, the State and Federal Governments:
The Government should also end native forest logging on private land.
RFAs fail on ecological, economic, social and climate fronts.
Almost 20 years after the RFAs were signed, there is extensive evidence that the RFAs have failed to facilitate Ecologically Sustainable Forest Management; failed to result in an economically sound timber industry; and a network of forest ecosystems has not been delivered. RFAs are therefore a failed model for forest management and should not be renewed.
Climate change was not considered as part of the RFAs, but is now the largest social, economic and environmental challenge we face. It is reckless to continue logging when we know it reduces carbon stores of forests.
The RFAs removed public oversight of logging by excluding ‘third parties’ from taking legal action on logging breaches. This has resulted in a lack of accountability and transparency in their implementation and has favoured industry over the public interest.
We know that the value of carbon, water and tourism from forests is much greater than timber, and that protected areas are important for the economy. The Government must assess these trade-offs as part of a genuine review.
Transitioning out of the Regional Forest Agreements.
There must be a clear and workable plan within any new RFAs to manage the closure of the woodchipping industry. When the time inevitably comes, woodchippers must not simply walk away from the environmental destruction they have caused or their obligations to workers, as mining companies have done in the past.
Some obvious measures would include, but not be limited to:
The consultation process:
|South East Region Conservation Alliance Inc. | Great Southern Forest|
|email@example.com | PO Box 724 Narooma NSW 2546 AUSTRALIA.|